Stiffarm Fantasy Football League



2017 Season


Player News

Martellus Bennett TE-NE

Bennett (shoulder) wants to return to the football field for the 2018 season, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

ANALYSIS: Bennett indicated plans to retire before being waived by the Packers in November, and subsequently claimed by the Patriots. The 30-year-old appeared in only two games for New England before landing on injured reserve, and is due a two million dollar roster bonus March 14, which makes him a potential cap casualty.

Emmanuel Sanders WR-DEN
Nearing full recovery

Sanders (ankle) has resumed running and is nearing a full recovery, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. "It's going well, my ankle is recovering," Sanders said. "Right now, I feel like I'm 95 percent."

ANALYSIS: Sanders sustained a "major" sprained ankle and tibia contusion in Week 5 against the Giants and his recovery has been complicated by swelling, a limited range of motion and diminished strength, according to the doctor in charge of his rehabilitation. However, barring any setbacks, it sounds like he could be recovered in time for OTAs in late April or early May.

Chris Ivory RB-JAX
Released by Jaguars

Ivory was released by the Jaguars on Friday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

ANALYSIS: Ivory hasn't been the player Jacksonville thought he could be when it gave him a five-year, $32 million contract in the 2016 offseason, as the 2015 Pro Bowler managed a lackluster 3.6 YPC and just four touchdowns in two seasons. The Jaguars simply couldn't afford his price tag while also having the league's fourth-highest paid running back, Leonard Fournette, under contract, especially considering Ivory's running style essentially renders him a much less dynamic version of Jacksonville's young workhorse. Releasing Ivory saves the team roughly $3.68 million in cap space and leaves T.J. Yeldon as the clear backup to Fournette.

Jameis Winston QB-TB

Winston was involved in a car wreck recently and ultimately was cited for careless driving, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

ANALYSIS: Despite Winston being partially at fault for the wreck, a punishment from the NFL is not expected and he escaped uninjured. The 24-year-old will head into the 2018 season on the last remaining year of his contract.

Graham Gano K-CAR

Gano is likely to receive the franchise tag from the Panthers, Jeremy Bergman of reports.

ANALYSIS: Gano is coming off a strong 2017, which saw him hit 29-of-30 field goals, with his only miss coming from more than 50 yards. He's been with the team for the past six seasons and the team can keep him around for a seventh year at $4.8 million by using the tag.

Nick Novak K-LAC

Novak (back) has recovered from injuries that resulted in his ending the 2017 season on Injured Reserve and he intends to play in 2018, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports.

ANALYSIS: Novak was placed on IR in Week 14 after sitting out a few weeks prior to that. He's not currently under contract for 2018 and will likely be looking at a near minimum deal if he does sign with a team.

Gary Barnidge TE-

Barnidge is looking to play in 2018 at a fair price, Alex Marvez of reports.

ANALYSIS: Barnidge sat out 2017 despite interest from a few teams. The veteran tight end said that he would only play on a fair deal and thought the contracts offered last year were too low given the 1,655 yards and 11 touchdowns he recorded during his last two years in Cleveland. It's unclear how much interest there is for Barnidge's service, but the door is open for his return to action in 2018.

Nick Folk K-TB

The Buccaneers released Folk on Thursday.

ANALYSIS: With Folk set to become an unrestricted free agent March 14 and the Buccaneers having no intention of re-signing him, Tampa Bay likely chose to cut the kicker loose so he could get an early start on finding work. The 33-year-old won the Buccaneers' kicking job in training camp last fall but held onto the role for only four games after missing seven kicks (five field goals, two extra points) on only 20 attempts. Rather than releasing him in favor of replacement Patrick Murray, the Buccaneers shifted Folk to injured reserve while he dealt with a minor knee injury that he's since recovered from. Given his underwhelming accuracy in recent years, Folk may only be signed as camp competition rather than as a team's top choice to win the kicking gig.

Tyrod Taylor QB-BUF
Expected to stick with Buffalo

The Bills aren't planning on cutting Taylor (concussion) during the offseason, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

ANALYSIS: Buffalo had considered getting rid of Taylor last offseason before he agreed to a restructured two-year contract, but that hardly gave the 28-year-old much job security heading into 2017. Another parting of ways seemed imminent after a healthy Taylor was benched in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman in the Week 11 game against the Chargers, though the veteran quickly recaptured the starting gig and helped lead the Bills to the postseason for the first time since 1999. Taylor's shortcomings as a passer were plainly visible in a wild-card round loss Jacksonville, wherein he completed 17 of 37 passes for 134 yards, no touchdowns and an interception before exiting on the final drive with a concussion, but there's something to be said about his mobility and ability to avoid turnovers, even though the latter often comes at the expense of big plays downfield. It's unknown if the Bills' current inclination to keep Taylor has more to do with the coaching staff coming around to recognize his strengths or a dissatisfaction with the quarterback options likely to be available via the draft or free agency, but for now, it sounds like Taylor's starting job could be safe, or at the very least he'll have a chance to fight for it. Taylor is owed a $10 million base salary for the coming season and is due a $6 million roster bonus March 16.

Allen Robinson WR-JAX

Robinson posted a video Wednesday on his personal Twitter account that showed him jogging at about half speed on the field.

ANALYSIS: As of early January, Robinson had been limited to running on an anti-gravity treadmill, so his activity Wednesday amounts to a step forward, if only an incremental one. The wideout previously stated that he's experienced no setbacks from a torn ACL suffered in Week 1 of last season and thinks he'll be able to pass a physical by mid-March, when free agency will open. Assuming the Jaguars concur with Robinson's assessment of his health, expect the team to do its best to retain the 24-year-old, either by slapping its franchise tag on him or signing him to a lucrative contract extension.

Josh Gordon WR-CLE

Gordon will be an exclusive rights free agent rather than a restricted free agent this offseason, Dan Graziano of reports.

ANALYSIS: Gordon, whose return to the Browns on Dec. 3 against the Chargers marked his first NFL action in nearly three years, finished the past campaign with five appearances, which wasn't enough for him to accrue a full season of service time. The extensive time Gordon has missed due to suspension will keep him under club control through at least 2018 and prevent him from negotiating with other teams this spring. Assuming he can stay on the straight and narrow during the offseason, Gordon, who caught 18 passes for 335 yards and a score in his five outings, profiles as the Browns' clear top pass-catching option during the upcoming season.

DeSean Jackson WR-TB

Tampa police are no longer investigating a Dec. 24 incident involving a car registered to Jackson, Austin Knoblauch of reports.

ANALYSIS: Jackson's Chevy Silverado was left abandoned at the scene of a crash on Christmas Eve, with police finding marijuana and hollow-point bullets in the vehicle. A spokesman for the Tampa Police Department said that because there weren't any witnesses or other evidence to place Jackson or another driver behind the wheel at the time of the crash, the case will become inactive. Jackson isn't set to face any discipline from the NFL or the Buccaneers and should be in store for a normal offseason after recording 50 catches for 668 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games during his first campaign in Tampa Bay.

Adam Vinatieri K-IND

The Colts and Vinatieri agreed to a one-year contract Thursday, Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star reports.

ANALYSIS: Bob Kravitz of WTHR Channel 13 Indianapolis first reported Wednesday that the two parties were working on an extension, and now Vinatieri's return for a 23rd NFL season and 13th in Indianapolis is official. With a 29-for-34 mark on field-goal attempts last season -- including a 5-for-6 showing from 50-plus yards -- Vinatieri showed no signs of decline despite turning 45 years old in December. Assuming he's able to maintain the accuracy he's displayed in recent years, Vinatieri could be in store for an uptick in the 109 points he tallied in 2017. The Indianapolis offense should benefit greatly from the expected return of franchise signal caller Andrew Luck from shoulder surgery, which sidelined him for all 16 games last season.

Charles Sims RB-TB

Sims, who will become an unrestricted free agent March 14, would likely remain in a change-of-pace role next season if retained by the Buccaneers, Jenna Laine of reports.

ANALYSIS: Sims saw even less action on the ground than in previous seasons in 2017, despite the since-released Doug Martin having endured a three-game suspension, injury and ultimately, a benching. The former West Virginia standout earned a career-low 21 carries, though he did post the second-best reception (35) and receiving yardage (249) totals of his four NFL seasons. Given that Sims has never logged more than 107 totes in any season as a professional, it's unclear whether any potential suitor sees him an all-around back.

Peyton Barber RB-TB

Barber is one of the Buccaneers' top internal options to replace Doug Martin, who was released Tuesday, Jenna Laine of reports.

ANALYSIS: The 23-year-old Barber is technically an exclusive-rights free agent this offseason, but it's fully expected he'll be retained in 2018. Barber established career bests across the stat sheet in his second season and already displaced Martin as the top backfield option for the final five games. Despite poor blocking in front on him, Barber often proved adept at finding space while Martin failed to do so, demonstrating the power and efficiency befitting of a lead back by averaging between 4.1 and 4.8 yards per carry in five of the seven games in which he logged double-digit totes. Having incurred low mileage over his first pair of pro seasons, Barber will be poised to challenge for the role of No. 1 back alongside Jacquizz Rodgers and potential additions via the draft or free agency.

Jacquizz Rodgers RB-TB

Rodgers is considered an internal option to replace the since-released Doug Martin as the Buccaneers' lead back in 2018, Jenna Laine of reports.

ANALYSIS: Rodgers finished the 2017 campaign with just 73 total touches from scrimmage, a modest workload considering he had been the de facto lead back for the first three games of the season while Martin finished serving a suspension. Given his ability to contribute on offense and special teams along with his reasonable $1.6 million cap hit for 2018, Rodgers seems likely to return to Tampa Bay during the upcoming season and could get the opportunity to compete with Peyton Barber for the top spot on the depth chart. It's quite likely, however, that the Buccaneers bring in multiple reinforcements at running back through free agency and/or the draft.

Trevor Siemian QB-DEN

Siemian (shoulder) is expected to be available via trade, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

ANALYSIS: Denver appears ready to move on from their 2015 seventh-round pick as they look to find a signal caller with higher upside to lead its offense. In fact, management is expected to "aggressively" address the quarterback position in free agency and the draft. It isn't clear how much demand Siemian could demand via trade or what teams might be interested, but he has a connection with an assistant coach on the quarterback-needy Jets in run-game coordinator and offensive line coach Rick Dennison, who was the Broncos offensive coordinator in 2016 when Siemian threw for his career-best 3,401 yards and 18 touchdowns in 14 games. With Brock Osweiler set to be an unrestricted free agent, the Broncos otherwise have Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly (wrist) under contract for 2018.

Alshon Jeffery WR-PHI
Uncertain to be ready for regular season

Jeffery (shoulder), who underwent shoulder surgery Wednesday, sustained a full tear of his rotator cuff and isn't certain to be ready for the regular season, Josina Anderson of ESPN reports.

ANALYSIS: Anderson notes that the expectation is for Jeffery to be ready for Week 1 but, now that the full extent of his injury is known, there appears to be concern he might not be. Furthermore, he's now said to be "very likely" to miss the preseason.

Julian Edelman WR-NE

Edelman (knee) was able to run with resistance bands Tuesday, NBC Sports Boston reports.

ANALYSIS: At this point in his rehab from October surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, Edelman seems to have progressed as anticipated. It's still likely that he'll face limitations by the time the Patriots' offseason program begins, but the expectation remains that he'll be a full participant for training camp. Edelman, who will turn 32 in May and is under contract through 2019, should settle back into his normal role as the team's top slot receiver during the upcoming season.

Alshon Jeffery WR-PHI
Status uncertain for training camp

Jeffery (shoulder), who underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a torn right rotator cuff, is uncertain to be available for the start of training camp and could miss time during the preseason, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.

ANALYSIS: The Eagles should shed more light on the status of Jeffery's rehab from the procedure when the team reconvenes for Organized Team Activities in April. Though it's likely the wideout won't be in attendance for the offseason program and could be sidelined when training camp opens, the expectation remains that he'll be back to full strength by the start of the regular season. Despite playing hurt throughout the 2017 campaign after sustaining the injury during camp, Jeffery turned in a strong first year in Philadelphia, catching 57 of 120 targets for 789 yards and nine touchdowns in 16 games. After inking a four-year extension in December, Jeffery is set to reprise his role as the top target for franchise quarterback Carson Wentz (knee), who could be recovered from a torn ACL and LCL before the new season begins.

Crockett Gillmore TE-BAL

Gillmore (knee), who has played tight end since entering the NFL in 2014, is in the process of transitioning to the offensive line, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun reports.

ANALYSIS: Gillmore, who has been limited to just 17 appearances over his past three seasons with the Ravens, was sidelined all of last season while recovering from surgery to address an MCL injury, which he sustained early in training camp. Listed at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds last season, the 26-year-old has reportedly added considerable bulk to help with the transition. In addition, Gillmore has spent his offseason training with former NFL lineman LeCharles Bentley to improve his blocking technique. Given his lack of prior experience at guard or tackle -- his most likely new positions -- Gillmore may have to settle for a short-term deal when he hits free agency this summer and could face an uphill battle to earn a 53-man roster spot for any team that he might join.

Alshon Jeffery WR-PHI
Undergoes surgery for torn rotator cuff

Jeffery underwent successful surgery Wednesday to address a torn rotator cuff, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

ANALYSIS: Jeffery suffered the shoulder injury during training camp, but proceeded to play through the issue for all 16 of the Eagles' regular-season contests, as well as the team's three postseason bouts. Though less than 100 percent healthy, Jeffery's productivity didn't seem to be impacted by the injury, as he quickly established a strong rapport with starting quarterback Carson Wentz (knee) in the regular season and seemed to get comfortable with replacement signal caller Nick Foles during the playoffs, ultimately finishing the campaign with a 73-yard, one-touchdown effort in the Eagles' Super Bowl LII victory over New England. Jeffery may be held out of the Eagles' offseason workouts while recovering from surgery, but the team doesn't seem to harbor any concerns about his health heading into 2018, as Philadelphia inked the wideout to a four-year, $52 million contract extension in December.

Adam Vinatieri K-IND

Vinatieri plans to re-sign with the Colts on a one-year contract, which is expected to be finalized Thursday, Bob Kravitz of WTHR Channel 13 Indianapolis reports.

ANALYSIS: A reunion with Vinatieri and the Colts always looked to be in the cards after the 45-year-old turned in another effective campaign in 2017 while remaining adamant at various points throughout the season that he intended to keep his career going in 2018. Though a weak Colts offense limited Vinatieri to just 109 points last season -- his second-lowest total of the past six seasons -- his scoring output could recover with franchise quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder) on the mend and expected to be back under center after missing all of the past season. Assuming health prevails in 2018, Vinatieri should become the NFL's all-time leading scorer at some point during the middle of the season, as he's just 57 points shy of matching Morten Andersen's record total (2,544).

Andrew Luck QB-IND
Throwing weighted balls rather than football

Updating a previous report, Luck (shoulder) has resumed throwing weighted balls rather than a football, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

ANALYSIS: Considering that the weighted balls are heavier than the football, Luck's announcement Tuesday that he has ruled out the possibility of a second surgery on his throwing shoulder seems to have some merit. Now throwing for the first time since being shut down in late October, Luck's progress will likely be monitored extra carefully as the Colts aim to get him ready for the 2018 campaign after he was sidelined for all of last season. According to Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star, Luck, who is training in California with noted quarterback and throwing motion gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, said that his main focus at this time is strengthening the muscles around the shoulder to make sure he's capable of handling a full workload by the time the upcoming season starts. It remains to be seen if he'll rejoin the Colts for Organized Team Activities this spring or if he'll be on the field for the start of training camp in the summer.

Andrew Luck QB-IND
Starts throwing football again

Luck (shoulder) has started throwing a football and doesn't believe he'll need another surgery, the Indianapolis Star reports. "That ship has sailed in my mind, which is also a bit of relief now, if I'm not going to lie," Luck said of the possibility of another surgery on his shoulder.

ANALYSIS: Luck has been working with quarterbacking gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux in Los Angeles and is throwing the football and strengthening his shoulder. Luck missed the 2017 season after surgery in January 2017 to repair a torn labrum and was shut down in October after he had soreness during a throwing program. With his recent progress, Luck could be ready to participate in Indy's offseason workouts in late April. Despite the improvement, we may not have a real idea if Luck can return to an NFL game until he's seen throwing in team workouts this spring or summer.

Jarvis Landry WR-MIA
Receives franchise tag

Landry will sign the Dolphins' franchise tag, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

ANALYSIS: It's a $16 million non-exclusive tag, meaning the wideout could still sign an offer sheet with another team but that team would have to forfeit two first-round picks to the Dolphins, a move that is highly unlikely. The three-time Pro Bowler is coming off a season in which he registered an NFL-leading 112 catches to go along with 987 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 16 games. Landry's rookie contract ended after the 2017 season, which would have made him an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Eli Rogers WR-PIT

Rogers (knee) is off crutches, according to his personal Twitter account.

ANALYSIS: Rogers underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL on Jan. 17 but seems to quickly be making progress. It was originally believed the wideout would be questionable for the start of the 2018 season, but now there's a chance he'll be back on the field in time for training camp. Look for more updates on his status to come throughout the offseason as he continues his rehab.

Ryan Succop K-TEN

Succop signed a five-year, $20 million extension with the Titans on Tuesday, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.

ANALYSIS: It was a career year for Succop in 2017, as the kicker made 35 of 42 field-goal attempts. He also set an NFL record by connecting on 56 straight field goals from inside the 50-yard line, which dates back to 2014. His 35 made field goals and 136 points were career highs, and he was also named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September.

Arrelious Benn WR-JAX

The Jaguars declined Benn's (knee) $790,000 team option for 2018 on Tuesday, making the wide receiver an unrestricted free agent March 14, Mike Kaye of reports.

ANALYSIS: Benn had spent parts of the past three seasons with the Jaguars as a depth wideout and special-teams contributor, appearing in 24 games and notching six receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown. Though Benn could have been retained at an affordable price for the upcoming season, his poor track record on the health front likely had the Jaguars eager to look elsewhere to fill out their wideout ranks.

Mychal Rivera TE-JAX

The Jaguars declined Rivera's (wrist) $1.25 million team option for 2018 on Tuesday, making the tight end an unrestricted free agent March 14, Mike Kaye of reports.

ANALYSIS: Rivera will finish his Jacksonville tenure without ever having played a down after a preseason wrist injury resulted in the Jaguars shuffling him to injured reserve prior to the opener. The 27-year-old was at risk of being cut following the preseason even if he had stayed healthy, so it wasn't a major surprise the Jaguars decided to part ways with him. Rivera displayed some aptitude as a pass catcher during his first four seasons in the league with the Raiders, but his poor blocking is something that could limit him to a deep reserve role no matter where he lands next.

Adam Vinatieri K-IND

Vinatieri intends to play a 23rd NFL season in 2018, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

ANALYSIS: Vinatieri indicated after the Colts' season ended that he had no desire to hang up his cleats, so look for Indianapolis to re-sign the veteran on a one-year deal when he hits free agency in March. Though his scoring production declined in 2017 without Andrew Luck (shoulder) directing the offense, Vinatieri was reliable as usual, converting 29 of 34 field-goal attempts and 22 of 24 extra-point tries. Two of those misses from the field came in challenging blizzard conditions in Buffalo in Week 14.

Nick Folk K-TB

Folk (knee) met last week with Dr. James Andrews, who officially cleared the 33-year-old to resume kicking, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

ANALYSIS: Folk beat out incumbent Roberto Aguayo for the Buccaneers' kicking duties in training camp but lost the gig after missing all three of his field-goal attempts in a narrow Week 5 loss to the Patriots. While Folk was initially expected to be released, the Buccaneers instead stashed him on injured reserve due to a minor case of left knee tendinitis, for which the veteran ultimately underwent surgery. Now fully healthy, Folk, who will officially become a free agent March 14, will likely head elsewhere this offseason in search of an opportunity to compete for a kicking job.

Marcedes Lewis TE-JAX

The Jaguars exercised Lewis' $3.5 million team option for 2018 on Tuesday, Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union reports.

ANALYSIS: While Lewis' salary isn't guaranteed for 2018, the transaction more or less indicates the Jaguars plan on bringing the tight end back for a 13th season. Lewis has long been a tertiary member of the Jaguars' passing attack, but his marks of 318 yards and five touchdowns last season were his best since 2013, though the production was mostly inflated by an outlier 62-yard, three-score performance in Week 3. Since Lewis is set to turn 34 years old in May, it wouldn't be a surprise if the Jaguars made adding a developmental tight end a priority during the early rounds of the draft in April.

Doug Martin RB-TB
Released by Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers released Martin on Tuesday, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

ANALYSIS: After following up a strong rookie year in 2012 with back-to-back disappointing seasons, Martin temporarily quieted his critics by amassing 1,673 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns in 2015, netting him a five-year, $35.75 million contract extension the following spring. However, Martin regressed badly thereafter, averaging less than three yards per carry in both of the past two seasons while missing time due to injury and an untimely four-game suspension, which delayed the start to his 2017 campaign. In cutting Martin loose, the Buccaneers will save $6.75 million against the cap in 2018 while taking on no dead money due to the structure of the contract. Martin's departure currently leaves Peyton Barber as the top candidate to start at running back in 2018, though there's a decent possibility the Buccaneers address the position through the draft or free agency in the coming months.

Eli Rogers WR-PIT

Rogers (knee), who underwent surgery Jan. 17 to repair the ACL and meniscus in his right knee, remains on crutches but is expected to recover within 4-to-6 months, Dave Lolley of DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.

ANALYSIS: The original thought was that Rogers could be in danger of missing the start of the 2018 season given the typical 9-to-12 month recovery timeline for ACL injuries. However, it now seems possible he could return in time for training camp in late July or early August, depending on which team the impending restricted free agent ultimately signs with this offseason.